So Why Do Liberals Suddenly Dislike France? Because Trump
The French do it every year. Liberals love France. Have you ever met a liberal who didn’t love wine, smelly soft cheese, existentialist philosophy? Who didn’t feel weepy about the French Revolution? Who didn’t love singing La Marseillaise? So why aren’t liberals cheering when Donald Trump wants to do what the French do?
Because it’s Trump doing it. And because what he wants to do is have the military parade on Veterans’ Day the way the French military parades on Bastille Day.
The Wannabe Tyrant?
Take New York magazine. It warned that the parade would be the kind of thing “various despotic regimes” would do. It shuddered at “the sight of the vehicles rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue in 2018 with a certain wannabe tyrant at the helm of the country.”
The Guardian ran an article titled “Trump’s desire for a military parade reveals him as a would-be despot.” The writer, Jonathan Freedland, called the parade “just the latest and potentially most spectacular demonstration of Trump’s authoritarian instincts.” He argued his point this way:
Just as he has repeatedly expressed admiration for strongmen in the Vladimir Putin mode, just as he regards the machinery of the state as his personal staff – casually referring to “my justice department” or “my generals” – and just as this week he suggested that those who refuse to applaud him are “treasonous”, so this is yet more proof that Trump’s instincts are those of the autocrat. Little wonder that he wants to take the salute at the kind of military display more associated with Moscow or Pyongyang than Washington DC.
The Authoritarian Regime?
CNN listed authoritarian regimes that hold military parades. See? the editors wanted you to think, Trump’s just like them! There’s a problem, though. The network ignored the many non-authoritarian countries that hold parades celebrating the military. Portugal held one in 2014. Australia held one in 2013. Finland has held seven in recent years. And Finland’s even more France than France is!
A lot more countries like these hold parades. But the mainstream media ignores them because they don’t fit the story the media want to tell. They don’t want you to think of Finland. They want you to the think of Chile during the 70s. Even better, Italy in the 30s.
News outlets focused obsessively on the fact that French tanks damage the streets. American taxpayers would have to pay to repair the D.C. streets after the parade. The administration announced the parade would not include tanks. “Consideration must be given to minimize damage to local infrastructure,” the Pentagon said.
That didn’t satisfy the left. New York magazine sarcastically observed that tanks weren’t being withheld because they conjured up “visions of some autocratic post-Soviet republic” — implying that the parade did just that.
Oh yes. The last U.S. military parade featured tanks. That took place in 1991, celebrating victory in the first Gulf War, Desert Storm. Back then, “Old-fashioned patriotism was clearly the order of the day,” the Los Angeles Times reported. No one complained back then. Even with Republican George H. W. Bush being president, the liberals didn’t complain.
The left is also criticizing the cost, which has been estimated between $3 million and $50 million. An article from NPR ominously warned that “Trump’s Military Parade Could Cost As Much As $50 Million.” One left-wing site didn’t even cite the range, but declared it will cost “around $30 million.”
In response, Democrats in Congress introduced the “PARADE” Act bill to prevent tax dollars from paying for it. What does “parade” stand for? “Preventing the Allocation of Resources for Absurd Defense Expenditures.” Get it?
The Leftists in Their Ivory Towers
The left has legitimate philosophical disagreements with the Trump administration. But to get so upset over a military parade of the kind lots of countries put on? That France — liberal paradise France — puts on? The left and the complicit left-leaning media can’t tell the difference between a real disagreement and a pointless one.
No matter what Trump does, he’s criticized. Even if he turns left, the left itself criticizes him. Trump makes a left turn and supports DACA? Doesn’t go far enough. He’s racist unless he supports the full DREAM Act. Trump supports banning bump stocks? Doesn’t go far enough. He doesn’t care about the victims of gun crimes unless he calls for far more strict gun control laws.
“This parade will focus on the contributions of our Veterans throughout the history of the U.S. military, starting from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 to today, with an emphasis on the cost of freedom,” the memo for the Joint Chiefs of Staff states. Mostly thanks to the left, much of the nation didn’t welcome home Vietnam veterans after the war. Maybe it’s overdue to honor them with a parade.
The president could still make the left happy. He could order a giant reception on the Mall to honor our veterans featuring wine and smelly soft cheese and repeated singings of La Marseillaise. Viva la France! Even without tanks!